British narratives of the rebel in Libya
in Romantic narratives in international politics
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Chapter three examines British narratives of the rebel in Libya during the conflict in 2011. It begins by outlining the interconnectedness of rebellion, revolution and romance. Referring to cultural narratives found in the works by poets such Byron and Shelley it shows how much of romanticism is rebellious and revolutionary and how rebels and revolutions are frequently romantic. The chapter emphasises the ambiguous nature of the rebel story by turning to the portrayal of the orientalist and romantic Arab in pop-cultural representations including the film Lawrence of Arabia and focusing on the narrative element of setting, characterization and emplotment. Part three of the chapter then engages with the media narrative of the rebel in the Libyan conflict found in British newspapers and the political elite. Employing the method of narrative analysis it shows a predominantly romantic story of the rebel in Libya in which one encounters an emotional setting, unprofessional, brave and young rebels emplotted to be fighting for the ideal of freedom and democracy in an asymmetrical conflict against an brutal and unjust Gaddafi. The final part of the chapter examines marginalised narratives which depict human rights violations by rebels and a linkage between rebels and al Qaeda terrorists.

Romantic narratives in international politics

Pirates, rebels and mercenaries

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